Polypropylene Prices, markets & analysis
If you buy or sell Polypropylene or related products, you need up-to-date global pricing data and the background information to help you understand it.
Our network of price reporters across Asia, Europe and the US enables us to deliver this. We publish their insights in our comprehensive daily and weekly price reports, plus we offer in depth Polypropylene news and analysis you need to put pricing information into context.
Polypropylene overview Transcript
Polypropylene or PP is a thermoplastic material that is mainly sold in resin pellets to processors who then shape it into a wide variety of products including car bumpers, oil containment booms and medicine caps.
US polypropylene has major end markets in automotive manufacturing and rigid packaging.
Some lower margin applications such as film and carpet have been largely outsourced from the US.
Most domestic contracts are linked to monomer benchmarks, so propylene market fluctuations are the main drivers of polypropylene contract prices.
In the recent years it has become more common for propylene shortages to cause rapid fluctuations in pricing for polypropylene and its feedstock.
The US polypropylene industry used to serve as a dependable export supplier to the world, but with the relatively high cost structure of feedstock, North America has become a more regional market.
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Polypropylene news and market information products from ICIS
We offer the following regional Polypropylene analysis and news coverage to keep you informed of factors and developments affecting prices in the Polypropylene marketplace.
Price Reporting – More information about the price reports we publish on Polypropylene
Independent price assessments and market coverage by region
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Price History – More information about the historical price data we publish on Polypropylene
Track historical price data
Other types of reports we cover for Polypropylene
Use margin reports to assess the profitability of commodities
News & analysis
News & Analysis - News & market analysis specifically relating to Polypropylene
Breaking news of latest developments affecting the markets.
Insight and analysis of factors driving prices.
Polypropylene: Market overview
Updated to Q2 2015
In the US, crackers running at full capacity have brought down feedstock propylene prices and most likely will reduce polypropylene (PP) prices in the coming months. But another monthly contract reduction may bring a bonus for PP producers in the form of margin expansion, which would knock a penny or two off the price-cut provided to customers tied to monomer-plus contracts. Sellers talk of tight supply because of production constraints, but buyers say most plants that were on force majeure earlier in the year have begun restarting or are already up and running.
PP availability in Europe has tightened considerably over the past month, and some grades are now short. Many converters admit they are now more concerned over availability than cost. Several cases of force majeure, fewer imported volumes and better-than-expected demand have led to the current tightness. Several producers have said they expect this to continue into June, and all eyes are on arbitrage opportunities to bring relief to Europe in the form of imports.
In Asia, most PP producers continue to raise offer prices for April and May shipments, partly because of strengthening propylene spot prices in the past two weeks, and partly because of market sentiment that has boosted PP prices in the domestic market. The outlook for China PP imports remains uncertain, because supply is expected to remain tight in the next month or so, particularly for PP block copolymers, mainly because of plant maintenance in South Korea. More price hikes are expected to push importers to the sidelines.
The outlook for PP in Latin America is expected to remain steady and possibly trend up because of ongoing moves in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, where supplies are tight and prices are rising. The problem is, PP demand is weak in Latin America. Customers are reluctant to buy in a market environment where the domestic currency keeps falling in value against the US dollar.
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Polypropylene news & analysis
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Polypropylene Asia Margin Report Methodology
Polypropylene China Margin Report Methodology
Polypropylene Europe Margin Report Methodology
Polypropylene Europe price forecast methodology
Polypropylene US Margin Report methodology
Polypropylene US price forecast methodology
Polypropylene (PP) is a colourless, translucent to transparent solid with a glossy surface. It has good resistance to acids, alkalis, inorganic chemicals and organic chemicals with the exception of hydrocarbons and chlorinated compounds.
It has improved impact strength, a higher softening point, lower density, better stress cracking and more scratch resistance than other polyolefins. However, a disadvantage of this polymer is its brittleness at low temperatures.
Polypropylene was first produced in a slurry process using Ziegler-Natta catalysts. Bulk phase technologies were then developed while higher activity catalysts enabled gas phase processes to be used. A combination of bulk phase tubular and gas phase reactors has become a popular process.
PP has key applications in packaging, fibres and automotive parts. PP can be extruded for pipe, conduit, wire and cable, while atactic PP has outlets in paper laminating, sealants and adhesives.